Ads begin to air today; similar ads running in DC and other states

Richmond, VA- The American Civil Liberties Union today launched a new radio campaign calling on Senator John Warner to support legislation that restores habeas corpus and other due process protections eliminated by the Military Commission Act of 2006. Similar advertisements are running in other key Senate states and early primary states and urge listeners to “Never give up a right that defines us as Americans.”
“ Passage of the Restoring the Constitution Act must be swift,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis. “Congress must act now to repair the damage done by the Military Commissions Act. It is up to the Senate and our own Senator Warner to repair our system of checks and balances.”

The Restoring the Constitution Act (S. 576/H.R. 1415) would stop the president – any president – from independently deciding who is an enemy combatant and limit that designation to people actually in armed conflict with our country. It would also restore the Constitution’s habeas corpus protection, allowing a court to decide whether a person is being imprisoned unlawfully. The legislation would require compliance with the Geneva Conventions, stopping the administration’s practice of making up its own rules on torture and abuse.

In Virginia, radio stations in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Roanoke are running ads encouraging listeners to ask Senator Warner to support the Restoring the Constitution Act. The same ad targeting other elected officials is airing in Arkansas, Maine, Nebraska, Missouri, and Washington, DC. A different version of the ad, asking residents to urge presidential candidates to support the bill, will run in the key primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

The radio spots were produced by the Dixon/Davis Media Group and will run through the end of March.

“These ads are a wake-up call for America,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “It’s up to all Americans to demand Congress fix the problems in the Military Commissions Act and restore due process protections as a first step towards saving our Constitution.”

The ACLU’s “Watch” radio advertisement can be heard at:

The ACLU’s “Swearing-In” radio advertisement can be heard at:

Contact: Kent Willis, Executive Director, ACLU of Virginia, (o) 804-644-8022